Hi there! Welcome to our weekly roundup of the most interesting theme park news around the Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando and other theme parks.
This week’s theme park highlights:
- We have more information this week on the Toy Story Mania Fastpass+ only test that took place last week. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Disney doesn't have immediate plans to make the test permanent, but that the test was used to gauge if the to move to FastPass+ only would allow more guests to ride and guest reaction to the change. Jim MacPhee, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts senior vice president Jim MacPhee said in an emailed statement that Disney is "laser focused on enhancing the experience of our guests." While we don't know the outcome of the FastPass+ only test at Toy Story Mania, some of you weighed in last week on your reaction to it, but we'd certainly welcome more thoughts on it.
- Hiro and Baymax, the characters central to Disney's upcoming film "Big Hero 6" area headed to The Magic of Disney Animation at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Tomorrowland's Starcade at Disneyland this fall. While the location of the meet-and-greet has been revealed, the actual start date has not. The film opens Nov. 7.
- While we are still awaiting an official announcement, construction is progressing on the rumored Skull Island at Universal's Islands of Adventure, as Orlando Informer captured in a recent trip report.
- An official opening date has been revealed for Disney World's newest restaurant, Trattoria al Forno in Disney's BoardWalk entertainment area. The restaurant, which will offer classic Italian cuisine, opens Dec. 18 for breakfast and dinner. You can start making reservations Oct. 21.
- SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular is one of Lily's very favorite theme park events, and she and I enjoyed looking at scenes from the opening day. For those of you heading to Orlando, the event is held every Saturday and Sunday in October.
- The Dapper Dans took to the skies earlier this week, celebrating the debut of Southwest Airlines' first nonstop flight from Dallas Love Field to the Orlando International Airport. The quartet serenaded the first flight's passengers, who were also given Mouse Ears, Mickey treats and tickets to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party! What a treat!
- Singer Gwen Stefani celebrated her and her niece's birthdays with a visit to Disney California Adventure along with her sons Zuma and Kingston.
That’s it for the theme park news this week. Have a great weekend!
If you’re thinking about a trip to Disney World, make sure to check out the other news, tips and information we post to the blog throughout the week. If you’re ready to plan your trip, we recommend you start with our planning pages.